I had just finished uploading some photos of my six month old baby girl to Facebook when a beautiful picture of and an inspiring quote from Nelson Mandela filled my newsfeed. And another. And another. As someone who can’t hear his name without remembering the Free Nelson Mandela concerts, I feel like he is someone who I imagined would always be around. How could he not? The world needs his overwhelming goodness, kindness, humility, humanity, courage, and hope. And then I saw another picture and another quote:
And I am reminded that whilst we no longer have Nelson Mandela with us on earth, we have this message which I truly believe resides within everyone who chooses to teach. It’s why we do what we do. And even though some days it feels so far, far removed from what we do, student by student, we are powerfully changing the world.
For the past two years, I have led The Passion Project with my fifth graders for their PYP Exhibition Unit. This year, new school, new grade, things look a little different but the Passion Project will be remixed into a two week intensive unit (think a mashup of Passion Project and Genius Hour) in the new year. I would like to dedicate this time to the memory and inspirational life of Nelson Mandela:
Thank you to all those teachers dedicating their lives to changing the world.
Thank you to all those people who play big, who pick themselves, who live lives that are full and passionate.
Thank you, Mr. Mandela.